More areas in Somalia suffering from famine, UN says

Posted Aug. 03, 2011, at 8:52 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 03, 2011, at 9:12 p.m.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — As hunger in the Horn of Africa dramatically worsens, the United Nations on Wednesday added three new regions of Somalia to the list of areas it says are stricken by famine.

More than 12 million people are facing starvation, with children particularly vulnerable. The U.N. last month declared that two regions of Somalia are suffering from famine, and it said Wednesday the famine is likely to spread across most of Somalia in coming months, as well as parts of Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Somalia is struggling with its worst drought in 60 years, and 3.7 million Somalis are in crisis, mainly in the south — creating Africa’s most serious hunger crisis in two decades. Refugee camps in the capital, Mogadishu, now are affected as well, U.N. agencies said.

The U.N. is seeking to raise $1 billion to address the crisis.

About 860,000 people have trekked out of Somalia, often leaving dead children on the way, hoping to find food in neighboring countries. Another 1.5 million people have fled drought-ridden areas of Somalia for other parts of the war-torn nation.

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